E. Texas school districts prepping for winter weather - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

E. Texas school districts prepping for winter weather

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Several East Texas schools have decided not to take any chances with the possibility of ice closing or delaying the start of classes Friday. The districts that have already announced closings or delayed starts are listed here.

Everyday, thousands of East Texas students rely on buses to get them to and from school. Long before the sun comes up on Friday, transportation teams will be out finding the safest way to get the job done.

"Starting at 4 a.m., the transportation staff will be out and about on the roads checking road conditions and bridge conditions," explains Tyler ISD Transportation Director John Bagert.

Bagert says a staff of 12 people will have inspected bus routes long before students' alarm clocks go off.

"By 5 o'clock, I'll have a conference call with the superintendent and he'll make a decision at that point as to whether we're going to cancel school, have a delayed opening or continue as normal," says Bagert.

With more than 90 buses traveling 195 square miles each day, Tyler ISD says they aren't expecting any delays, but they'll make a final decision on that by 6 a.m. on Friday. For now, the transportation team is focusing on bridges and rerouting buses if necessary.

"In Texas, we don't specifically train for ice, but we do train for hazardous road conditions in general," he says.

It's the same system that many East Texas districts use. Longview ISD says their staff is inspecting road conditions by 4:30 a.m. At the superintendent's discretion, a mass phone call and online post will let Longview parents know what to expect.

For now, transportation teams continue monitoring weather radars.

"Tracking where the ice is in relation to the state, and if we're going to get ice...where that will be in relation to Tyler," says Bagert.

If you would like KLTV to send text message alerts directly to your cell phone when your school district announces a closing or delay, you can sign up for that service here.

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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